The Hanged Man: An Analysis of history

The Hanged Man: An Analysis of history

Introduction: The history


Among the 78 cards in a deck, the Hanged Man is a very interesting card, both for the connotation and the history. The card features a man hanged upside down by the ankle, which was a common form of punishment in Italy for traitors. In Norse mythology, the man is Odin, the Norse God associated with knowledge, wisdom, royalty and healing. According to the tale, he hung himself from the tree of life Yggdrasil for nine days and nine nights in order to gain knowledge of the other worlds. He could also change shape and adopt the form of an animal or another person. He is portrayed as a symbol of self-sacrifice, which helps one to achieve the ultimate success and knowledge. 


The Symbols associated with it


Unlike the cases of corporal punishment, the man hanging from a wooden deck is seen with a solemn expression, meaning he is there with his own will and accord, and has sacrificed his self for whatever it might concern. Usually it is read in this way: A man sacrificing himself to increase will-power, boost self confidence and self-esteem to gain long-term success. People who are willing to sacrifice do not fear anything in the path of success. The cards show a halo light around the hanged man representing enlightenment. The position is also different, the upside down position helps the person to view the world from a different perspective. The man is wearing red pants-a colour representing passion and strength. He is suspended in time and has been a martyr of success. 


Reading the Hanged Man


Like all other cards in the deck, the Hanged Man is read in two ways: the Upright and the Reversed. Let us take a look what the two forms mean in case of the Hanged Man:

  1. UPRIGHT: The Hanged Man teaches to put everything on hold, like the man who can not do anything because he has his hands and legs tied. You can decide to take a step without understanding this may not be the right time. The Hanged Man calls you to wait for some time before beginning with a new career, love partner or important decision. The wait can be voluntary or involuntary, but you will have an intuition when it is the right time. Remember, if you do not hit brakes, you will meet accidents.

The card also asks to remove the old models of psychology, you may start thinking in a new way or let go of the old emotional attachments. The Universe will give you warnings on the basis of ill-health or emotional upheaval, and if these signs arise, you should wait until good times start. The Hanged Man gives an insight into what is making you feel stuck and helps you to move forward. Change your daily routine and make a shift in lifestyle to feel your energy slowly changing.


  1. REVERSED: Reversed Hanged man means you need to focus on yourself. You might keep yourself busy for the whole day which you feel is making you grow, but the truth is, you are getting distracted from the issues which actually need your attention. The Universe can only help you if you start working on yourself and instead of running away from the situations, face and solve it. You are already on a position where everything is on hold, on a pause, which naturally is making you feel frustrated, but the Hanged Man indicates everything will be fine once you stop resisting the changes. Flow with life. For relationships, the card suggests the person is keeping you waiting, at one point which is meaningless. You can let go of the hold. Also, do not rush, things will go well at the right time. 




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